Friday, May 5, 2017

Friday reference questions

A man in an electric wheelchair was stuck waiting for his chair to recharge. I asked him if there was anything I could do for him and he said, "Could you maybe bring me something to read? Except I don't know what." Then he spotted the picture books in the children's section across the room. He wasn't going to be waiting long so he said, "Could you bring me one of those kid's books? What do you recommend?" So now he is over by the plug reading The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle.

A different man is really mad that he left his umbrella in the library and how he can't find it. Security tape shows that actually he didn't have it when he entered the library. Helpful information, but awkward.

I offer to help a couple in the Fiction section find what they are looking for, but it turns out they have a whole book devoted to lists of books they want to read. The wife knows how to use the catalog and she looks up the call numbers and adds them to each entry. Then she crosses them off after she checks them out. How cool!

Mr. Timmons stops by, says "My homegirl Emma!" and gives me a lollipop. I give him a fistbump and (after he is gone of course) guiltily throw the lollipop away.

A patron complains that he has hundred dollar bills and no stores will take them. We'll take them! But un/fortunately he has no fines. He does give his daughter a dollar to print some things out, though.

I help a patron with the self-check machine and then neither of us can find her library card for like 5 minutes. It turns out it's... right on the pad where you are supposed to scan it, disguised as the dummy library card that is supposed to show you where to put your card and how to orient it. Not my best work.

Help a patron print. I have it down to, I kid you not, a word for word spiel. In case your library has Envisionware (Are you at a U.S. public library? If so the odds are extremely good.) and you want to use it, it goes: "So now we are going to go over to the print release station, which is the computer right next to the printer over there. You can actually do a couple of things from this computer, so the first thing you want to do is tell it that you want to release a print job. Now go ahead and enter your library card number. That's how it tells which printouts are yours. If you want to print everything just hit this "select all" button right here. It will tell you your total cost up in the right hand corner here. Okay, go ahead and put your money in the machine. It takes coins, ones, and fives and it does make change. Now all you need to do is hit the 'print' button up here on the left and here are your print jobs. If you're printing something private, just make sure you hit this 'exit' button when you are done so no one could print another copy of your documents." Self service, my left foot!

A man turns in his DVDs to me.

A woman wants to get on the computer but has too many fines. She's looking for a job so I put her on one of our guest PCs with more than the allotted 20 minutes.

Help with wifi. Ugh.

A member of the IT staff comes to take a look at a weird thing my laptop has been doing lately, but of course when he's there it behaves perfectly normally.

We moved a couple of things post-renovation after finding that they weren't where patrons expected them to be or weren't where it was most convenient for patrons. For example, we had grouped all of our new items together, but that meant that new movies were on a completely different floor from all the rest of the movies, so we brought our new movies back near the main movie collection. Apparently people had just figured that out, because while last week I was constantly being asked near the main movies "where are the new movies?" now I am at the desk that's near the other new items and I'm constantly being asked "where did you move the new movies!?"

I help a sweet kid with the self-check machine, then put a book on hold for her to come back and check out later because she's reached her card limit.

Excuse me, it says I have a hold available but I can't find it on the shelf.

Do you have, like, a guide for all the summer activities?

A woman is mad because her trial-and-error approach to using the copier has been kind of expensive. If I could wave a magic wand and change anything about the library, it would be how often people wait until they are already angry before asking for help.

Can I pay my library bill by credit card over the phone?

Phone number lookup for a lovely lady who says "Always a pleasure to talk to our library"!

Today's Ms. Opp rant is about legal advice.

Why do people keep giving me things to check in?

I talk for 10 minutes by phone to a patron who is mad because her mom keeps checking out movies on her account so she's at her 10-movie limit. She insists her mom isn't borrowing the physical library card but that's the only possible explanation. My head hurts.

Can you help me find the customer service phone number for Delta Airlines? They charged me for my bag and I don't think they should have.

Mrs. Opp has reached her limit of 5 calls/day and is cut off. I really hope I won't have to be the one to tell her.

Someone wants to check out but can't because both cards she tries to use have too many fines on them.

I screw up 3 circ transactions in a row. Bingo!

Worst bingo ever.


  1. Your Friday sounds pretty bad, hope you don't have to work this weekend

    1. Hello from your friendly Saturday librarian!

    2. Oh too bad! Hopefully things were better!